“The Vampire Diaries” executive producer Kevin Williamson recently sat down with THR to discuss the ever-evolving television audience and the way that writing a show for a young female demographic has changed since his “Dawson’s Creek” days.
He also dropped a few bombshells about the storytelling process in the “Vampire Diaries” writers’ room. In last week’s episode, Bonnie (Katerina Graham) died in battle — or so we (and Elena) thought. She was brought back to life thanks to a spell. All in all, the death lasted less than five minutes of screen time, but it still packed a powerful emotional punch.
When they first broke the story, it was intended to be even more devastating for viewers. “Originally we had planned to kill [Bonnie] for four episodes and let Elena be the one who hid her away, and surprise everyone with it,” Williamson says. “But we said, ‘The audience would hate us. They’ll never forgive us.’ Then we thought we could do this for one episode and bring her back next week. Then we thought no, better to do it at the end of the commercial break. We finally came down to a commercial break was all we could get away with.”
Another change of plans this season? Katherine (Nina Dobrev) has stuck around. Williamson says that he and Julie Plec had originally envisioned Katherine leaving Mystic Falls after a handful of episodes, but Dobrev’s performance changed their minds.
“I said, ‘We can only
bring Katherine in once or twice.’ We had written the first episode and
we were down on set watching Miss Nina portray
her in that little black outfit and slink her way to set. I said, ‘OK,
we might need to rethink this,'” he says.
Much like she does in the story, “Katherine took over,” Williamson admits. “We
recreated the storyline. She was always supposed to be the puppeteer and
the mastermind off-camera, and we brought it on-camera. It gave us
another true villain and for Damon another adversary.”